Julie Walters honoured with South Bank outstanding achievement award

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Actress Julie Walters has been honoured with an outstanding achievement award to recognise a career spanning almost four decades.

The 63-year-old - whose varied roles have included Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films and a moving portrayal of the late Mo Mowlam - took the title at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

Other winners at the highly regarded event included the Olympic cauldron which was given the visual arts award, while BBC2's spoof series about preparations for last summer's sporting spectacle, Twenty Twelve, was named best comedy.

Actor Tom Hiddleston - whose high-profile performances have included roles in War Horse and Avengers Assemble, playing villain Loki - took the "breakthrough" award.

Latest James Bond movie Skyfall, the most successful movie at the UK box office, took the best film prize.

Walters, seen in films such as Mamma Mia! and Shirley Valentine as well as TV comedies including Dinnerladies, was presented with her award by her friend and frequent comedy partner Victoria Wood.

In a further triumph for BBC2, the adaptation of Parade's End - starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall - took the TV drama prize, and author Hilary Mantel added to her swelling awards haul with the prize for literature. Her novel Bring Up The Bodies has already brought her a second Booker Prize and was named Whitbread Book Of The Year in January.

Jessie Ware beat St Etienne and Plan B to the pop award.

The event at London's Dorchester Hotel, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, is being screened by Sky Arts on Thursday at 9.30pm.

Lord Bragg said: "2012 was a truly extraordinary year for this country, not only in sporting endeavours but across the arts.

"This list of most deserving winners is testament to the richness of artistic talent we have at work today and I am delighted that we able to celebrate and honour them as they deserve."

Full list of winners:

Comedy: Twenty Twelve, BBC2

Theatre: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, National Theatre

Visual Art: Thomas Heatherwick, London 2012 Olympic Cauldron

Breakthrough Award: Tom Hiddleston

Film: Skyfall

Opera: Ghost Patrol, Scottish Opera and Music Theatre Wales

Pop Music: Jessie Ware

Dance: A Streetcar Named Desire, Scottish Ballet

Classical: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Julian Anderson, Ryan Wigglesworth - The Discovery Of Heaven, Royal Festival Hall

TV Drama: Parade's End, BBC2

Literature: Bring Up The Bodies, Hilary Mantel

Outstanding Achievement Award - Julie Walters

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